Several hundred people gathered in the state capitol on Tuesday for a rally in support of Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters, who has been charged with 10 counts related to her efforts to try to uncover what she claims to be a fraud in the 2020 election.
Four Republican state lawmakers spoke at the event, which was headlined by Mike Lindell, the CEO of MyPillow, which has become one of the nation’s leading purveyors of false security claims elections.
“I came to Colorado today because you have here in Colorado the key to the whole nation,” he told the crowd, “because you had a great county clerk, Tina Peters, ( who) did his job.”
Peters is accused of helping an unauthorized person image the hard drives of her county’s voting machines and take pictures of the passwords last year during an annual system update. The information was later leaked online, forcing the state to decertify Mesa County machines and a judge to bar Peters from overseeing the 2021 election.
“Everyone has a role to play in this. Everyone has a calling. You were born for a moment like this,” Peters told the cheering crowd.
“They want you to shut up. They want you to sit down. They want to pat your little head and say “nothing to see here, pass everyone”. And we are too smart for that. Is not it ? »
Peters is running to be Colorado’s top election official; she’s seeking a spot on the ballot at this weekend’s Republican state assembly in Colorado Springs. If she wins in the GOP primary race against former Jefferson County Clerk Pam Anderson, Peters would go on to challenge Democratic Secretary of State Jena Griswold in the fall.
The Capitol rally was also an opportunity for Peters to kick off her campaign, and she and Lindell also held a fundraiser later that day. Required donations ranged from $650 for VIP seats to $1,250 for extra time with Peters or Lindell.
Arvada’s Sheila Brown attended the rally with a group from her church, but said she would have to skip the fundraiser; “I don’t have that kind of money right now, but I would love to go.”
Brown said she came to listen to and support people like Peters who she says are “standing up for freedom.” After the event, she lined up to have her photo taken with Lindell, calling him a “great American patriot.”
Peters’ legal troubles — the state charges she already faces and the ongoing federal investigation into her actions — haven’t weakened Brown’s support.
“I know that as a Christian, people who stand up for justice are attacked harshly and usually from the other side. And I believe she will get through it all and win.
In the rally surprise, Lindell served with papers
Lindell faces its own legal challenges. He is being sued for defamation by Dominion Voting Systems, the Denver-based election equipment company that is at the center of false allegations that it rigged the 2020 election for Joe Biden.
The company supplies voting equipment to most counties in Colorado, as well as more than half of the states nationwide, including swing states like Georgia.
As Lindell walked up the stairs of the Capitol to address attendees on Tuesday, a burly man wearing a windbreaker and Afghanistan veterans cap shoved a manila envelope into his hands. The bailiff was delivering legal documents alerting Lindell to a new defamation lawsuit, this one on behalf of former Dominion employee Eric Coomer. Coomer was personally targeted, accused without any evidence of being the mastermind behind the plot to rig votes for Biden, forcing him into hiding soon after the 2020 election.
The lawsuit argues that Lindell called Coomer a traitor, among other things.
“He claimed, without evidence, that Dr Coomer had committed treason and that he should surrender to the authorities. The defendants published these numerous false statements, defamatory interviews and other dishonest content slandering Dr. Coomer on the frankspeech.com website, often accompanied by a sales pitch for MyPillow’s products.
Frank Speech is Lindell’s online delivery platform. Lindell’s MyPillow, Inc. website and company are also named in the defamation lawsuit.
Coomer, who categorically denies any role in voter fraud, has also sued Rudolph Giuliani, the Trump campaign, several pro-Trump outlets and others.
Coomer’s lawyers say his reputation has been tarnished to the point that he can no longer work in elections.
Lindell briefly addressed the retrial when he took the stage in Denver.
“I have just received papers. Thanks, Eric. Now Eric (Coomer) will be the first behind bars when we melt down the (voting) machines. »
Clerks push back ahead of rally
Days before the rally, Colorado county clerks from across the political spectrum tried to get their own message out to the public: that the state’s elections are safe and accurate.
“It’s … a fantasy for them to think something’s wrong here,” Denver clerk and recorder Paul Lopez said. “We will defend our state. We will defend our democracy and everything we fought for. »
Lopez, a Democrat, was joined at Sunday’s press conference by some of his Republican and unaffiliated counterparts from across the state.
Clerks noted that Colorado is an all-paper ballot state, which makes it easier to verify election results against machine tallies. (Not all ballots are hand-marked; counties provide electronic voting machines specifically to enable people with disabilities to vote independently, but this equipment prints a paper ballot).
Weld County Clerk Carly Koppes, a Republican, said clerks are developing initiatives to make the voting process more transparent, such as posting scanned images of each ballot online, to allow members of the public to make their own examination of the results.
Audits and hand counts in Colorado and other states have consistently shown that machine counts match paper ballot counts. The Federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency called the 2020 presidential election the most secure in American history, concluding: “There is no evidence that any voting system has removed or lost votes, changed votes or has been compromised in any way.”